The key questions asked by small business owners who want to market their business to the United States Government (USG) are 1) Does the federal government buy my company’s products/services? 2) WHO in the agency contracting office buys? 3) How did they make the purchase? And 4) What are my competitors doing? The answers to these questions provide the first step in the path to obtaining federal contracts. The USG spends over $500 billion a year buying goods and services from commercial entities. The data sets contained in Data.gov can help small business find business opportunities and market to targeted agency contracting offices
There are over 14 data sets in Data.gov that report USG procurement. The key data sets include e-buy Awards for Fiscal Year 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2007; GSA elibrary Schedule and Contracts; Schedule Sales Query Report Generation System, Schedule Sales Query Raw Data; North American Industry Classification System; NAICS Matrix for Active GSA Schedules and GSA GWAC’s; PSC Matrix for Active GSA Schedules and GSA GWAC’s; Federal Business Opportunity Data; USA Spending Contracts and Purchases and the Federal Procurement Data System. The challenge for small business is getting the information from these data sets into actionable formats or reports. This requires expertise on mining data and understanding how this data works to their benefit.
Federal Contract Intelligence Service has taken some of the data from the above data sets and created three sample reports designed to help small businesses market their products/service to agency contracting offices. Please see sample reports (http://fedcontractintel.com/sample-reports-for-101-and-301/ ) .
The data sets in Data.gov provide a tremendous amount of data for commercial use. The challenge is mining the data to create actionable reports for small business. This is the first blog in a series on the benefit of using Data.gov to help small business get federal contracts. Other blogs will explore the North American Industrial Classification System and Federal Procurement Data System. Stay tune.